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Chantay, You Stay-At-Home: LA's DragCon Goes Virtual This Year

A drag queen sashays down the pink carpet at DragCon LA 2019. (MOVI Inc for World of Wonder)
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May is usually my favorite time of year. It means I get to dust off my costumes and wigs for RuPaul's DragCon and sashay across its iconic pink carpet.

The popular annual event typically brings tens of thousands of people from all over the world to the L.A. Convention Center to meet drag stars and hang with other fans (some of whom come dressed in the most outrageous and fabulous outfits I've ever seen).

But in early March of this year, organizers called off the in-person gathering due to concerns about large events spreading coronavirus.

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All is not lost! The annual convention is still happening and it's taking over the internet (like drag and meme queen Jasmine "and I oop" Masters).

Drag queen James Majesty poses at RuPaul's Dragcon 2018 (Leo Duran)

DragCon 2020 will be free and accessible via a 3-hour live YouTube stream on Saturday and Sunday, May 2 - 3, from noon to 3 p.m. each day.

The organizers of DragCon online hope to replicate many of the confab's usual events. Approximately 70 artists will take part in virtual panel discussions, Q&As, performances and more.

"They have been busy creating awesome content that will be available for folks to enjoy in the comfort of their home," said Randy Barbato, co-founder of World of Wonder, the production company behind RuPaul's Drag Race and DragCon.

"We are encouraging folks to still drag up their homes and take photos and post them to their social media," said Barbato.

Farrah Moan greets an attendee at the 2017 DragCon at the L.A. Convention Center. (Chelsea Guglielmino/Getty Images)

Event organizers also hope to generate financial support for drag queens, who often rely on in-person appearances to make a living.

"There will be ways for folks to support their favorite queens via tipping and stocking up on merch," Barbato said.

The shift to virtual event streaming is becoming the new norm for many fan conventions. Comic-Con cancelled this year's event while WonderCon has become WonderCon@Home with panels happening online.

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It's unclear how this weekend's "turning lemons into lemonade" DragCon will affect the New York version of the event, which typically happens in the fall. "Stay tuned," Barbato said.

Fans tuning in this weekend should know one thing: Dressing up is still important!

Pro Tip: Past Halloween costumes make great DragCon attire and who doesn't want to look fabulous, even if you're just sprawled on your couch?


For more at-home events check out our handy weekend guide: